Skip to main content

Lost in Space

Aimee Mann will release her fifth proper solo album, the Forgotten Arm, on May 3rd and I will pick it up on that day. As music writers (journalists, bloggers, etc.) prepare for its release, a lot of them refer to Mann's previous album, Lost in Space, as a disapointment. Well my friends, Lost in Space is not a letdown, a bummer and definitely not a disapointment.

Some history between me and Mann's music: Magnolia and Bachelor No. 2 were my introductions to her solo material and I quickly fell in love with her spare arrangements of melodically rich songs. Her lyrics speak volumes, even though they appear vague and personal. A side note of twisted humor, I loved how the big label she recorded Bachelor No. 2 for thought it was not radio-friendly and chose not to release it. Given the album's exposure through the Magnolia soundtrack and the publicity of the album's delayed release (and oh yeah, really amazing songs), Mann had the last laugh. Releasing her stuff on her own label, SuperEgo, that's where she remains today. And all those big labels that thought it was downloading hurting their sales . . .

When her Bachelor No. 2 follow-up, Lost in Space, was released, I found one online review before the album's release date. The review was vague; I couldn't tell if it was positive or negative or anything of the sort. Regardless of the review, I picked up Lost in Space. I really dug Lost in Space but like my experience with Bachelor No. 2, the more I listened to it, the more I enjoyed it. (Side note: there was never a time where I didn't like the albums, I just kept listening because I liked what I heard on my first few spins) Some of my favorites include "Invisible Ink," "Lost in Space" and "This is How It Goes," but overall, the album is very strong.

So, how is Lost in Space a disappointing album for a lot of people? Are its lyrics not as "angry" as Bachelor's? The lyrics ring close to home for me, much like how Bachelor's do, but they're not as vitriolic. The songs are as plush as Bachelor, but Bachelor's Jon Brion didn't produce Lost in Space. Brion is a masterful producer with a midas touch, but then again, the artists that he works with are already gifted. Mann's songs are incredibly strong, no matter which producer she works with.

In short, check out Lost in Space and don't believe the non-hype.


Popular posts from this blog

It's a Long Way Down

There was a time when I listened to Ryan Adams' music practically all the time. Back in 2001, as I finished college and tried to navigate post-college life, the double dose of Whiskeytown’s Pneumonia and Adams’ Gold led me to everything else he had made before. It was countrified rock music that spoke to me in a deep way, mainly on the musical front. I don’t tend to really pay attention to lyrics, but I connected with Adams’ lyrics about being young and perpetually heartbroken. I thought some self-inflicted mental pain about awkward and failed attempts at relationships put me in the headspace to relate to songs by Adams, as well as Bright Eyes. There was so much time and energy spent on anger and sadness directed at myself for things not working out, so I found solace in songs like “Harder Now That It’s Over” and “The Rescue Blues.” As it turned out, there was a pattern in my life: if I had a little taste of a feeling of sadness or anger, I could relate to those who had it

I ain't got no crystal ball

I've never been a big fan of Sublime's reggae-punk-ska, but I feel bad for their hardcore fans. Billboard reports that a four-disc box set featuring previously released and unreleased material is on the way. How is this a bad thing? Well, the number of posthumous vault-raiding collections greatly outnumber the band's proper releases. That usually isn't a problem, but the quality of them is very suspect. When they were together, the band recorded three proper albums, Robbin' the Hood , 40 Oz. to Freedom and Sublime . Sublime would be the band's breakthrough record with the mainstream, but that success was very bittersweet. Shortly before its release, frontman/guitarist/songwriter Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose. In the following years, the effects of apparently a bad record deal have yielded compilation after compilation. Here's the rundown so far: Second Hand Smoke (1997) Stand By Your Van -- Sublime Live in Concert (1998) Sublime Acoustic: Br

Best of 2021

  Last year, my attention span was not wide enough to listen to a lot of LPs from start to finish. Too much went on in 2020 to focus on 10-15 albums, so I went with only a couple to spotlight. Well, 2021 was a little better, as I have a list of top four records, and a lot of individual tracks.  (I made a lengthy Spotify playlist ) So, without further ado, here’s my list of favorites of the year: Albums Deafheaven, Infinite Granite (listen) Hands down, my favorite album of the year. I was not sure where Deafheaven would go after another record that brought My Bloody Valentine and death metal fans together, but they beautifully rebooted their sound on Infinite Granite. The divisive goblin vocals are vastly pared-down here, as are the blast beats. Sounding more inspired by Slowdive, the band has discovered a new sonic palette that I hope they explore more of in the future. It’s a welcome revelation. I still love their older material, but this has renewed my love of what these guys do.  J